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Township Submits for Grant for Sanitary Sewer & Manhole Lining and Force Main Replacement

During rain events, Lower Southampton Township experiences groundwater infiltration and surface water inflow to the Township owned sanitary sewer system.   All of the township’s sewer is treated at Philadelphia Water Department’s Northeast Wastewater Treatment Plant, including the additional water from infiltration and inflow (I/I) which causes exceedance charges to the Township and ultimately Township residents.  The township pays approximately $4,717,404.80 dollars annually to Philadelphia Water Department for sewer treatment, with additional exceedance charges due to heavy rain anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 per quarter.   To reduce the amount of I/I within the Lower Southampton sewer system the township proposes to reline approximately 15 miles of sanitary sewer and 200 sewer manholes.  In addition, the township recently received partial funding to replace approximately 3,300 linear feet of 6-inch cast iron force main that is over 70 years old and needs continued maintenance and repairs. The grant amount fell far short of what was requested and some of the budgeted funds will be used toward this project.  If these projects are funded, it would not only benefit the residents of Lower Southampton Township, but also, Upper Southampton Township, and other surrounding municipalities by improving sanitary sewer conveyance and reducing wastewater service costs from Philadelphia Water Department.

Ultimately, this reduction in infiltration costs allows for stabilized sewer rates at the locality level (in our sewer fund) and keeps it in the hands of the residents and local public officials, not in a stock market corporation.  This type of endeavor can potentially have an anticipated cost savings of 10% (or greater) which can be shared across three communities (Lower Southampton, Upper Southampton, and part of Philadelphia).

With the help of Senator Farry and Representative Hogan’s offices (letters of support), as well as Township Engineer John Evarts/CKS work, and Philadelphia Water Department’s letter of support, we were able to compile and submit our FY25 Community EDI Project through Congressman Fitzpatrick’s office.   The project is potentially worth $4,705,000.  We will have more hurdles on this grant submission, but we wanted to keep our residents informed of this great potential opportunity.